Flat Aggie has been visiting us for several weeks now. Since we've been busy with cattle, we've had to put him to work. But, with all that's been going on, I'm a little behind when it comes to blog posts.
Two weeks ago, Aggie helped us gather the feeder cattle. These are cattle that were born last winter here on the County Line, so they are about a year old. Last summer, they were in a pasture with their mothers. Then, this fall, we weaned them from their mamas.
Weaning means that they no longer get milk from their moms. Instead, we feed them grain, silage and alfalfa hay.
|This shows the silage being fed via the feed truck being augered into the feed bunks.|
But, after we got all the feeder cattle gathered, we put them in a pen to sort them. We needed to sort the heifers - the girl calves - from the steers - the boy calves. Randy planned to keep 25 heifers and will put them with bulls later in April so that they will get pregnant and have their own baby calves next winter.
give vaccinations to the calves. As they went through the chute, Randy decided whether they were heifers that he'd potentially want to add to our own herd. If he did, the doctor gave it a brucellosis vaccination, plus a tattoo and a red eartag on the left ear to show it had received it. This vaccination is important for the health of both mamas and their babies.
|This was from a different year, but it shows the red tag put in the heifer's right ear and Dr. Harder tattooing the same ear.|
We ended up with 50 heifers and 48 steers. Randy and I sorted, while Jake ran the gate in case a calf got by us that we wanted to keep.
We let the steers out into the bigger corral and then sorted the heifers. Since Randy just wanted to keep 25 to breed for our herd, he picked out the ones which had been treated with the bruccellosis vaccine. Then, among those, he chose the ones that he thought had the best characteristics that we want to carry on in our herd. He looked for heifers with a straight back, good muscling, a larger frame size, good feet, a smaller head and a feminine look.
The next day, the semi truck arrived to haul the cattle to the sale barn.
Tomorrow, Flat Aggie and I will tell about our adventures during the cattle sale.